For the fans mourning Anna Nicole Smith, will three months be enough time before they're ready to see the reality-TV star spoof herself again?
After canceling several theatrical screenings, Edgewood Productions and MTI Home Video have announced plans to release the film on DVD in May, a date they had arrived at before Smith's untimely passing last week, MTI spokesman Ed Baran said Tuesday.
Filming had wrapped by the end of 2005 but Illegal Aliens was still in the post-production stage when Smith's son, 20-year-old Daniel Smith, who served as an associate producer on the film, died suddenly in September. According to Baran, MTI was already in talks with Edgewood regarding the movie's distribution before Daniel's death, but no deal had been finalized at the time.
Baran told E! Online that the master copy of the DVD that he has seen includes a dedication to Daniel, but he doesn't know yet whether the product that hits stores in May will be edited to include a tribute to its marquee name, as well.
But, speaking for MTI, Baran was adamant about the company's disinterest in capitalizing on Smith's untimely death.
"It is a horrible, horrible thing," he said. "No one is looking at this as dollar signs."
It also remains to be seen whether Smith doing a send-up of an airhead celeb and her place in the Hollywood machine—a persona she had no trouble milking on the unscripted The Anna Nicole Show—will be perceived as funny or just plain morbid.
"I don't think it's appropriate, based on the content of the film, to be screening it at this time," Illegal Aliens director David Giancola told the Associated Press Friday in Vermont, where two of the proposed screenings were scheduled to take place.
"We don't know what happened to Anna. The press speculation is endless. We didn't think people would find it funny. It's a comedy and it's her making fun of her public persona. So much of it is riffing on Anna and her riffing on herself, I just don't think, with her passing, it's appropriate to screen it so quickly after her death."
"At first look, Illegal Aliens appears to be just another low-budget sci-fi comedy poking fun at Hollywood's big-budget flicks," executive producer John James said Tuesday. "Now with the passing of its star, you'll find it to be replete with metaphors of her life...This movie may just be the Abbey Road of films for Anna Nicole Smith fans."
Whether that's true or not, the film does feature Smith, who helped bankroll the project and is listed as a producer, as an alien who takes the shape of a human bombshell who teams up with two other hotties, Charlie's Angels-style, to take on an evil intergalactic terrorist played by Joanie Laurer, aka ex-wrestler Chyna.
When asked whether he felt Smith's death would increase audiences' interest in the film, Giancola said that he couldn't be sure.
"The public interest in her is so great, in everything she does," he said. "I don't quite understand it."
Meanwhile, one of Smith's costars was accused of understanding it all too well.
During an appearance on Larry King Live last Thursday, the day Smith died, Chyna was taken to task by Monique Goen, wife of TrimSpa CEO Alex Goen, who objected to the former WWE star's statement that she "totally saw" Smith's death coming.
Calling Chyna a "stalker," Goen accused her of not even being a friend of Smith's and of using her death as an opportunity to take center stage, to which Chyna told her to "go get some TrimSpa."
"I remember Chyna being on your show when Daniel just died," Goen told King. "And as far as I'm concerned, taking some low shots…right away she went to all these allegations, like she knew all this stuff about Anna.
"Yet when I talked to Anna, she said that she kind of was like a stalker and she would call her and Anna didn't want to return her calls. So, for someone to make claims like they know something about someone when they haven't even spoken to them for a while, I just..."
Then King steered the discussion back to the subject at hand, the death of Anna Nicole Smith at age 39.
And, as expected, another day did not go by without some sort of legal maneuvering on the part of those Smith left behind.
Larry Birkhead, who's anxiously looking to prove he's the father of Smith's five-month-old daughter, Dannielynn Hope, filed a petition Tuesday in Broward County Circuit Court to ensure that a California court's ruling is upheld requiring Smith's body be preserved pending a Feb. 20 paternity hearing. The former Playboy Playmate collapsed in a Hollywood, Florida, hotel room and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
"We wanted to nail down the court's order, to domesticate the order in Florida," Birkhead's attorney, Debra Opri, told the AP. A hearing on the matter is set for Wednesday.
Broward County medical examiner Joshua Perper said he had been advised by attorneys representing Howard K. Stern and Smith's mother, Vergie Arthur, that they would be filing an emergency order to have the late celebrity's body released because they are concerned extended refrigeration will leave the body unsuitable for a funeral viewing.
"It's a legitimate concern if the body is really in bad shape and cannot legitimately be viewed," Perper told the AP. He also issued an affidavit urging the prompt release of Smith's body, but said the body will remain in his custody until a judge rules otherwise.
"It's Larry Birkhead's intent to cut off every avenue to Howard K. Stern in denying Larry Birkhead's right to a DNA test," Opri said. "We will do anything and everything to make this happen in whatever jurisdiction."
Smith attorney Ron Rale said a DNA sample has already been taken from the body and that it won't determine the paternity of Dannielynn.
Rale, who also has been named the secondary executor of Smith's will, with Stern being the primary executor, has the authority to assist with funeral arrangements. He told AP Television News that he hopes Arthur, who was estranged from her daughter for 15 years, won't follow through with her plan to bring Smith's body back to Texas.
"I implore Anna Nicole's mother to do the best for her daughter, carry on with her wishes and her wish is not to go to Texas," Rale said.
E! Online Photo Gallery: Anna Nicole's Life in Pictures